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The ethics of cooperating with law enforcement

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By: Ian D. Wolfe, PhD, MA, RN, CCRN, HEC-C, member of the ANA Ethics and Human Rights Advisory Board

To: Ethics Advisory Board   

From: Nurse informant

Subject: Nurse obligations to cooperate with law enforcement  

I’m an RN working in a pediatric unit. I was caring for a patient and family when my hospital’s security service contacted me to ask that I inform them when the family was leaving the hospital because the police, at the behest of ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement), were going to arrest the father on his way out. What are our ethical obligations to work with or notify law enforcement?

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